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Cite Your Sources: ASA

What is ASA style?

  • Uses the author and year in parentheses as the in-text citation and provides a reference list. 
  • Preferred by many writers in sociology.
  • Based on the 4th edition of the American Sociological Association Style Guide.

How do I format my in-text citations?

  • A basic in-text citation includes the author's last name and the year of publication.
    • (Smith 2010)
  • The in-text citation appears in the text immediately following the information that is being referenced.
    • This hypothesis was tested (Smith 2010).
    • Smith (2010) tested this hypothesis.
  • You do not need to repeat any elements that are already in your sentence.
  • ASA style assumes there is always an author. If using a public/government document, see section below. If citing from an internet source, including an online newspaper article, the website's host can be used as author.
    • (Statistics Canada 2010).
    • ( 2008).
  • For a specific part of a source, page numbers appear after the year, separated by a colon without a space.
    • (Smith 2010:198)

How do I format my reference list?

  • The reference list comes at the end of your paper, on a separate page.
  • The title should be References.
  • Put the list in alphabetical order by author last name and use a hanging indent to format all entries.
  • Authors' first names and surnames are used, unless the author has used initials in the original work. If initials are used, follow each letter with a period and space.
  • List all authors; however, only the primary author's name is inverted as last name, first name. 
  • For two authors, do not separate the first and second author by a comma; instead use "and."
  • For more than two authors, separate author names with a comma and include "and" before the final author name. 
  • The reference list should be double-spaced, unless otherwise indicated by your instructor.
  • All in-text citations must be reported in your reference list.
  • Titles of books and periodicals should always be in italics; article titles should be in regular type within quotation marks.
  • When you reference more than one work by an author (or editor) in your paper, list them in order by date, beginning with their earliest work. For each subsequent reference, use the author's full name, not a series of dashes (this is a change from the previous edition of ASA).

Journal article or periodical

Author Last name, First name. Year. "Title of Article." Name of Publication Volume Number(Issue Number):page numbers of article.

Shalla, Vivian. 2004. "Time Warped: The Flexibilization and Maximization of Flight Attendant Working Time." Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 41(3):345-68.

Electronic resources and e-articles

Author Last name, First name. Year. "Title of Article." Publication Name Volume number(issue number). Retrieved Month day, Year (http:// address).

Kushner, Joseph. 2010. "Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Slow." The Globe and Mail October 25. Retrieved December 25, 2010 (http:// address).

Include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) number at the end of a reference if an e-journal article has one. Note that the DOI replaces the retrieval date.

Persell, Caroline Hodges, Kathryn M. Pfeiffer, and Ali Syed. 2008. "How Sociological Leaders Teach: Some Key Principles." Teaching Sociology 36(2):108-24. doi: 10.1177/0092055X0803600202.


Author Last name, First name. Year. Title (Edition if it has one). Location of publisher, state or province or country: Publisher's name.

McDonald, Lynn. 1994. Women Founders of the Social Sciences. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. 

Chapters in books or part of a collection

Author Last name, First name. Year. "Title of Article." Pp. (page numbers) in Name of Publication, edited by Editor1 Initial. Last name, Editor2 Initial. Last name, and Editor3 Initial. Last name. Location of publisher, state or province or country: Publisher's name.

Duxbury, Linda, Sean Lyons, and Christopher Higgins. 2008. "Too Much to Do and Not Enough Time: An Examination of Role Overload." Pp. 125-40 in Handbook of Work-Family Integration: Research Theory and Best Practies, edited by K. Korabik, D. Lero, and D. Whitehead. London: Academic Press. 

If the chapter or part is considered a "reprint" (as it would be in a course reader, for example), add the original publication information in parentheses at the end.

Resources to help with writing

Guide: Plagiarism and Academic IntegrityGuide: Cite Your SourcesLink to Guide: Write clearly: Grammar

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